We had a great time last year at the Forum. The presentations were awesome, the band was great, and the entire event was both informative and fun.
We are looking for ways to make the next Forum even better and more sustainable.
Sadly, we will not be hosting a 2018 Forum, but we have plans for 2019! We want to ask for your opinions on several topics so that we can try out new things in the future.
If you have any opinions on the following ideas, or if you have any comments for us in general, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can incorporate your feedback.
The most challenging part of running the Forum is making it economically viable. The Forum’s Organizing Committee consists purely of unpaid volunteers, and even so the Forum teeters on the edge of profitability after accounting for food, space, materials, and lodging for keynote/luncheon speakers. Certainly if the Organizing Committee charged for their time honestly, the endeavor would immediately become unprofitable.
We have three ways of increasing revenue – raising the ticket price per person, attracting more attendees, and increasing the amount of sponsorship. We ultimately want to decrease the ticket cost per individual to make it more affordable for everyone. That leaves increasing the number of attendees or increasing the amount of sponsorship.
Looking back over the past five years’ attendance numbers, we seem to have reached saturation. Similarly, the amount of money we received from sponsors seems to have flattened out. The only way to break out of this is with your help as a community. If you think the Forum is valuable, help us spread the word! Help us bring more engineers to attend. Help us to reach out to other companies to sponsor us.
Previously, we have had the Forum fill up one full Friday every year. After the end of a long day, you could earn up to 8 PDHs.
How would you feel about making the event two days long? Thursday and Friday, maybe?
What about having the event twice a year, say once in September and once in April?
At the UNO Engineering Forum, we focus the tracks and content onto the strengths of UNO’s College of Engineering. The College has electrical engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and naval architecture/marine engineering in addition to engineering management, and so the tracks at the Forum reflect that. We also have begun to incorporate cybersecurity as it is prevalent across all engineering disciplines.
Are there other topics you would like to see at the Forum?
How have you felt about the content offered thus far?
We want the Forum to be community-driven, so if there are topics you like or dislike, let us know. If you have a presentation that you feel would benefit the community, let us know so we can add you to the next schedule. And definitely let us know if there is something you feel would be a great benefit to everyone but that we have missed in the past.
The questions and ideas above are things that we struggle with internally. Being on the inside significantly colors our viewpoints. Hopefully you can provide us with some enlightenment and clarity from your perspective.
We appreciate all of the support you have given us over the past few years. We want to grow the event and to grow the community so that everyone benefits. We want to encourage engineers, to support engineering as a whole, and to improve the entire city of New Orleans in the process.
Thanks again, and keep in touch!
Rastin Rastgoufard, Ph.D.
UNOEF Organizing Committee
Thanks a lot for making 2017 a huge success! While you wait for the next Forum, please enjoy some presentations and photos from 2017.
(Some presentations are over 25MB, so they may take a moment to download.)
The presentations from the cybersecurity discussion panel are online.
Dr. Millard's excellent luncheon presentation also is online.
The entirety of the 2017 UNOEF website will remain online.
Thanks for making this a great year!
We hope to see you again! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us.